Tsar Alexander II approved the start of operations for the Tula Ammunition plant in 1880, in Tula, Russia. It is not widely known that private funds were used to establish the Tula plant and its sister plant in Ulyanovsk.
Who Makes TulAmmo?
Today the company is part of the High Precision Systems conglomerate. This is a holding company underneath the umbrella of Rostec, a state-owned company established in 2007 to consolidate companies of strategic importance in advance of an IPO. In November 2017, Rostec began looking for a buyer of its stake in the conglomerate. All told, 14 holding companies are involved, with 11 in the defense and military industries. As such, Tula is officially part of a nonprofit organization under Russian law. Other than common ownership by High Precision Systems, it is unrelated to the similarly named Tula Arms Plant.
Tula operated under a contract for its first seven years to produce 210 million rounds. During World War I, the company produced one quarter of all Russian ammunition. And between World War I and World War II, Tula switched from brass casings to steel-cased ammunition, helping to conserve Russia's limited supplies of copper and zinc while taking advantage of the large amounts of iron available.
Tula was called to service again during World War II. Their factories were capable of producing the 400 million rounds per year required to keep the Russian military in the fight. Caught in the crosshairs of the legendary German advance “Operation Barbarosa” and the 1941 offensive to capture Moscow, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered an estimated 2,000 factories be moved on rail cars from the west to the east. Train tracks were then destroyed as the Wehrmacht approached. Tula was under direct assault from the Second Panzer Division due to its strategic importance.
During the early days of the offensive, Tula was like many other Soviet industrial centers. Workers would spend long hours making armaments for the war effort. Then, at the end of the day, they wouldn’t go home to rest. Instead, they would spend time engaged in military drills for their inevitable conscription for defense of the socialist motherland.
This training later came in handy as the citizens of Tula were required to defend their city against a German assault. Tula was considered to be the Southern Gate of the Moscow area and was the main sticking point on the German advance to Moscow, with supply lines stretched ever thinner as the Wehrmacht continued flanking maneuvers to the east. The Germans never did manage to fully take Tula, though they were able to destroy some of the supply lines. While not as famous as Stalingrad, Tula was arguably as pivotal to turning the tide of the war.
There are even stories of factories ordered moved to Siberia, then re-assembled by hand without electricity in the freezing weather. Many Tula factories were dismantled and shipped east ahead of the German advance. Not the Tula ammo factory, though. Instead, the factory workers (almost entirely women and children, as the men were at war) formed the “Tula Worker’s Regiment” and built entrenchments around the factory. This included anti-tank ditches, minefields, and other strong points so weapons and munitions production could remain in full-swing around the clock throughout the German offensive.
For its efforts during the Second World War, (or the Great Patriotic War as it is known in Russia even today) Tula was named to an elite group of nine Soviet towns. These are known as Hero Cities of the Soviet Union. Two other cities were added to this list, which met its end in 1988.
When the war ended, Tula was able to continue expansion of their production capacity, as well as the variety of ammo they sold. Today, they make more than 40 different types of ammunition for Russian military rifles and pistols, and they export to more than 20 different countries. Often misspelled as “Tul Ammo,” “Tulamo” or “Tulaammo,” this ammunition in the U.S. is branded as TulAmmo. Wolf Ammunition is another brand manufactured at the plant in Tula. The latter brand is primarily for hunting and sporting purposes.
The Tula Cartridge Plant makes more than just ammunition and arms these days. It’s now a diversified production plant making tools, drive chains, expansion bellows and low-voltage equipment for both the Russian and international markets.
TulAmmo: From the Czar to the Commissars to Today
Rostec, the parent company of TulAmmo, is a giant megacorp with its fingers in a lot of pies. In fact, it even has its own press arm that acts as something between a news agency and a PR firm. This, combined with a massive stake from the Russian state and the distance between Russia and the United States, makes knowing what’s what about TulAmmo and its state-owned parent company less than opaque to say the least.
To understand TulAmmo, one must first understand a bit about how the Russian economy works. Despite the Fall of Communism decades ago, many organizations remain state owned in former Communist bloc countries. The idea is to give them some legs before letting the baby bird leave the nest. However, only seven such organizations receive money directly from the Russian Federation’s government and Rostec is one of them. That might be because they employ over 900,000 Russians, or over one percent of the entire Russian workforce.
The structure itself of Rostec is a bit confusing: In 2009, the holding company owned 546 companies divided up into 26 holding companies. Of these 26 holding companies, 19 were defense related.
Rostec subsidiary Technopromexport has been under sanctions since the Russian annexation of Crimea, which has led to erroneous rumors that TulAmmo and Wolf are both about to be banned in the United States. This is incorrect: In the first case, your favorite online ammunition retailer has a boatload of TulAmmo saved up already. But while Rostec has been sanctioned, its importation has not been banned, and American shooters will likely be unaffected.
Tula Brand Ammo
The cartridges themselves have polymer-coated steel casings, bi-metal bullets and non-corrosive primers. Polymer coating on the cases, as opposed to lacquer coating, increases shelf life and provides more reliable functioning. The bi-metal bullet has a lead core wrapped in steel and is coated in copper. TulAmmo meets the specifications of SAAMI and CIP.
They sell a plethora of cartridges, both for rifles and pistols, including .223 Remington, 7.62x39mm, 9x19mm and .45 Auto. If you have a firearm in military style that was manufactured since WWII, TulAmmo likely makes ammunition you can use for it.
Popular TulAmmo Ammunition
TulAmmo ammo has acquired a reputation for high-quality ammunition at a price point virtually anyone can afford. Some of the most popular Tula calibers include:
- Tula .223 Ammo: Tula .223 ammo is one of the brand’s most popular calibers. It’s especially a steal when purchased in bulk of 100 rounds. Note that Tula 223 is also TulAmmo 556 – meaning it will work in your favorite NATO 5.56 rifle just as well as in your .223 Remington. You can also purchase .223 TulAmmo spam cans!
- TulAmmo 9mm: If you’re looking for a dirt cheap 9mm round, look no further than the TulAmmo 9mm. This affordable ammo lets you fire away without worrying about cost!
- TulAmmo 357 Magnum Ammo: This Tula ammo is also an inexpensive way to practice your target shooting, though the .357 Mag’s utility is by no means confined to that.
- TulAmmo 7.62x39mm Ammo: This cheap Tula ammo is also available in spam cans.
- TulAmmo 380 ACP Ammo: While these rounds are generally only available by 50s, they’re still considered an affordable option for .380 ACP.
- TulAmmo 7.62x39 Ammo: This popular ammunition can be purchased in bulk right here at Ammo.com, available up to 1,000 rounds. Vintage firearms enthusiasts and those who like to stock up will love that it comes in a spam can.
- TulAmmo 45 Auto Ammo: Popular in 500-round boxes, this .45 Auto is a full metal jacket round at 230 grain weight.
Shooting enthusiasts of all stripes agree on one thing: You simply can’t beat TulAmmo for the price. This is the perfect ammunition for stockpiling, plinking and target practice. The performance is there and the price is absolutely right. If you feel like you’re spending too much money at the range or that a Saturday evening plinking session is breaking the bank, TulAmmo might just be the solution you’ve been looking for. All rounds are non-corrosive, so don’t worry about damaging your weapon. TulAmmo rounds are also prized for their accuracy, being used by SWAT officers during practice sessions.
Tula Ammunition has grown continually since it started more than 130 years ago. It is estimated that more than 500 million rounds were shipped to the U.S. in 2009 alone. Committed to producing quality ammunition at an economical price, it's likely that TulAmmo will be providing ammunition for shooters around the world for years to come. Perhaps best of all, TulAmmo is active with both the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. When you support TulAmmo, you’re also supporting an organization that cares about your Second Amendment freedom.